Despite the climate narrative, almost everywhere cold temperatures are much more deadly than heat. Why is the cold more dangerous? Because it causes outer blood vessels to constrict to conserve core body heat, which drives up blood pressure, said Bjorn Lomborg. High blood pressure killed 10.8 million people in 2019 – 19% of total global deaths.
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Dr. Bjorn Lomborg is a researcher and frequent commentator in print and broadcast media. He has also authored several books including ‘False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet’. Last month he published an article in The Times which challenged a Lancet report stating that rapidly rising temperatures have increased annual global heat deaths among older people by 68% in less than two decades. This is a figure that has been cited all over by corporate media, from the BBC and Time to the Washington Post and the Times of India as well as espoused by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. “The [Lancet] report commits an amateur statistical fallacy by blaming the increase in heat deaths on ‘rapidly increasing temperature’,” Lomborg wrote.
In a Twitter thread, Lomborg explained how the cold kills 9 times more than heat. “When billions of people are exposed to colder than optimal temperatures for large parts of the year, millions die,” he said. A study published in The Lancet in July 2021 found that for the ten years 2000-2019, 4.6 million people died from cold temperatures compared to 0.5 million from heat.
Although energy prices declined dramatically in the past; in this century, due to “climate change” policies, energy prices have increased.
The UK energy bill cost crisis is the result of failed policy decisions stretching back decades. UK energy costs had more than doubled since 2000 – before the escalation in the Ukraine/Russia conflict began earlier this year – and have risen further by around 90% this year alone. Yet, the government continues to blame the Ukraine/Russia conflict for high energy costs.
The current crisis is the result of several interwoven policy failures that have rendered the UK electricity system fragile and vulnerable to shock, with British energy policy since 2002 focused on the development of renewable energy, particularly wind and solar electricity, almost to the exclusion of all other concerns. And it is consumers who have to carry the considerable costs as a result of the deployment of renewables.
For years a renewable energy charge has been included in our metered charges, raising our bills. On top of that, the taxpayer has subsidised the cost of solar and wind construction, while the owners have made enormous profits based on the gas price. The cost of installing energy storage – to keep the lights on when there is little sun or wind – is paid for by National Grid and hence by the consumer.
Bjorn Lomborg tweeted that higher energy costs will mean colder houses, killing between 79,000 and 185,000 more people in Europe this winter.
This pending health crisis also has long-term impacts. A Public Health England report found that cold homes and poor housing conditions have been linked with a range of health problems in children. And the British Medical Journal previously warned of the health risks to children:
Children growing up in cold, damp, and mouldy homes with inadequate ventilation have higher than average rates of respiratory infections and asthma, chronic ill health, and disability. They are also more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and slower physical growth and cognitive development.
High fuel prices can exacerbate the effect of low temperatures on heatlh and deaths by deterring people from using heat and raising their exposure to cold. A 10% rise in electricity prices is associated with a 0.6% increase in deaths.
The government cannot wash its hands for penalising fossil fuels, before alternatives were available, and for ignoring the evolving shortfall in generating capacity.
The latest government report of total UK energy is for Q2, April – June 2022. In it is a graph which shows electricity generated and split by fuel type. Although electricity generated is not the same as consumption, it gives some idea that renewables fall far short of the total of 79.0 TWh generated and to some extent what is required – with renewable generating 30.5TWh compared to gas/coal 33.2TWh and nuclear 13TWh.
Another demonstration of renewable energy’s failure to meet demand was an announcement made by National Grid on Monday. National Grid had asked two coal plants to be on standby to generate electricity in case supplies were disrupted because of cold weather. It later stood them down. But, continued with its plan to run a test of its scheme that offers discounts on bills for households who cut peak-time electricity use on Monday evening. The move came as the UK experienced a snap of freezing temperatures. It meant energy demand would rise as more people heat their homes, and a lack of wind reduced the amount of renewable energy available.
Offering discounts on bills may work because the cost of energy has soared and households are struggling to pay their bills. But at what cost to health and well-being?
A UK government report published in February 2022 showed 3.16 million or 13.2% of households were experiencing fuel poverty in 2020. According to the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, for every 1% rise in energy prices, an additional 40,000 homes go into fuel poverty. It estimates that 7 million households are in fuel poverty in the UK right now – 24.5% of all households with over twenty neighbourhoods seeing over 75% of households in fuel poverty.
An August report by the Child Poverty Action Group estimates that by January 2023 that figure will more than double with 15 million households in the UK in fuel poverty – spending over 10% of net income on fuel – some demographics being hit harder than others. More than 80% of large families, lone parents and pensioner couples will be in fuel poverty, Child Poverty Action Group predicts. And End Fuel Poverty Coalition predicts more than 1 million households with babies and infants, representing 42%, will be in fuel poverty from 1 April 2023.
If the UK had increased its gas storage capacity, permitted fracking and reduced its dependence on cross-channel energy supplies, would this year’s rises – and the risk of power cuts – have been much lower? How many lives could be saved from responsible, and not renewable obsessive, energy policies?
But the government seems to accept no responsibility and keeps driving blindly for net zero regardless of the consequences.
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